Bus runs into house in Silver Spring

Oriola Olamide had just arrived home with groceries Monday and was sitting in his Toyota Camry when he noticed the Montgomery County Ride On bus trying to turn onto his street. Immediately he knew something was wrong.

“He couldn’t turn; he just came straight,” said Olamide, a taxi driver.

The bus careened past the nose of the Camry and crashed into the front porch and then the living room of Olamide’s Silver Spring house. His sons, Toye Olamide, 16, and Kofo Olamide, 22, were inside.

Olamide exited his car and soon learned that his sons were unharmed. Montgomery Fire and Rescue Capt. Oscar Garcia said that six people on the bus, including the driver, were taken to hospitals. All had non-life-threatening injuries, he said.

County police said they are probing the cause of the crash. Capt. Paul Starks, a police spokesman, said the bus was being examined Monday for any possible mechanical issues.

Olamide said that when he asked the bus driver what had happened, the driver said the vehicle’s brakes failed.

County spokesman Esther Bowring said the bus was a 2011 low-floor Gillig hybrid bus. She said it is unclear how long the crash investigation will take. Bowring said she was unaware of any information related to the brakes.

Starks said the bus was turning onto southbound Avenel Road shortly before 10:40 a.m. when it left the road and moved onto the yard of the house at 9407 Avenel. It continued across that yard and onto the yard of the house at 9405, just south of the first home.

It then hit an unoccupied taxi parked on the driveway of the Olamide home, spinning the cab, Starks said. The taxi was crunched, and the bus continued on and struck the house.

Toye Olamide said he was sleeping two rooms away from the living room when the crash woke him.

“I thought it was an earthquake,” he said. “My initial reaction was to run out the front door.” When he reached the living room, he saw the bus crashed through the door.

Kofo Olamide, a psychology major at Morgan State University who was in the basement, said he ran upstairs to make sure his brother was okay.

“It’s a mess — glass and wood everywhere,” he said. He said the wall of his sister’s bedroom near the living room had partially collapsed.

The rest of the family soon arrived home. Simi Olamide, 18, a Bowie State University student who had been at a nursing class, said her bed is close to the damaged wall. “That’s where I sleep; my head is right there,” she said from outside the house.

Outside the damaged house soon after the crash, Kemi Olamide, a real estate agent, kept looking at her daughter, the damaged bedroom, and her sons and husband.

“Thank God I can see everyone,” she said. “That’s the most important thing. I can see them all.”

Mike Laris came to Post by way of Los Angeles and Beijing. He’s written about the world’s greatest holstein bull, earth’s biggest pork producer, home builders, the homeless, steel workers and Italian tumors.
Mark Berman is a reporter on the National staff. He anchors Post Nation, a destination for breaking news, developing stories and quick analysis of events around the country.
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